Owen MacNeil has risen to the occasion in the Okotoks Oilers' first year in the BCHL playoffs, scoring a hat trick in a crucial game four and lifting his team to victory 4-1.

With MacNeil's first hat trick on the season, he now has a point per game at seven in the playoffs so far. The hat trick couldn't have come at a more important time as the Oilers were down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series and weren't getting any bounces in game three.

"I think things like that just kind of happen, I was in the right place at the right time and got the opportunity. I was pretty fortunate to get set up a couple of times from my linemates, and then got gifted that first one there, right on the tape," MacNeil said. 

"It doesn't really come too often; it was nice to get the first one there." 

While MacNeil has produced on the scoreboard, including his three goals in game four (April 24), he also comes with a plethora of experience. He was the captain of the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL last year and competed against the NHL Chicago Blackhawks rookie sensation Connor Bedard.

Owen MacNeil playing the body in game four against the Brooks Bandits.Owen MacNeil playing the body in game four against the Brooks Bandits.

MacNeil is someone that Dean Spak, Brett Huxley, Kade Turner, and Logan Magowan, all players who have a letter on the front of their jersey, can lean on to make their job easier.

"They do a great job. When you are coming into a new team you have to learn the new ways of the team and the dynamics. It was pretty easy to fit in with those guys real quick and I have known a lot of them for a long time, played together growing up. It was pretty easy to fit in and like I said, they do a great job," he said.

"Whenever I can give a little piece of advice or little leadership qualities here and there for the guys, I have no problem doing that. It's kind of natural for guys that are leaders, it's pretty easy to fit in with those guys and lots of great older leaders on this team."

MacNeil all smiles after completing the hat trick against the Bandits in game four.MacNeil was all smiles after completing the hat trick against the Bandits in game four.

The Green and Gold have already made things difficult for Brooks, winning two games in the series, including one on the Bandits' home ice, a feat that no team was able to accomplish this year. MacNeil and his team will have to try to give Brooks another first in stringing two wins together.

"The biggest thing is just trying to continue what we are doing. They are a good team, a fast team, and you can't give them any time or space. I think the way to be successful is just being on them quick and playing fast below their blueline and down low. Being hard on the forecheck so they don't have time to make plays, because when they do, they pick you apart," MacNeil said.

"Just the stuff we have had success with so far in the series is something we got to continue to do. Be composed since we are getting into the later games of the series, emotions start to get high, guys are nervous and excited. The team that can stay the most composed and keep an even keel is probably the team that's going to be most successful."

The Green and Gold will be in Brooks tomorrow night (April 26) for game five of the best-of-seven second-round series with a puck drop at 7:00 pm.

You can watch MacNeil's hat trick and the highlights from game four in the video below.